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Telect cuts jobs ahead of slowdown

Sat., July 26, 2008

Liberty Lake facility loses 26 positions

Telect Inc. has eliminated 47 positions at its North American plants and will sell its operations in Poland, company President Wayne Williams said Friday.

Of those affected, 26 work at the company’s Liberty Lake headquarters, 11 in Plano, Texas, and 10 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The company employs 680.

Telect makes a variety of connectors, cables and other telecommunications equipment.

Williams said business has been good so far in 2008 – revenues are up about 10 percent – but customers are indicating purchases might be down during the second half.

Dismal home sales and the woes afflicting financial institutions could slow demand for broadband capacity, he said.

To prepare, he said, Telect has also identified positions that could be consolidated.

Williams said the plant at Wroclaw, Poland, became expendable because the surging euro made it cheaper to manufacture in North America and ship using air freight.

“That’s a good thing for the manufacturing business,” he said.

Williams said Telect is providing severance and helping displaced employees find jobs with other area electronics makers or with education.

Telect had more than 1,000 employees in 1999, before an industry implosion triggered by overcapacity.

Williams said that he personally knows many of the employees cut in the latest reductions.

“This is hard,” Williams said. “We just want to be sure we can ride out a slowdown.”

Bert Caldwell can be reached at (509) 459-5450 or

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